"Without the crucifixion, there would have been no resurrection. And without the resurrection there would be no Christian faith. Folks, there are so many factors. You know, nonbelievers, they talk, they doubt they jeer at the resurrection of Jesus. But I'm going to tell you, it happened."

Family Discussions:

  1. Why did Jesus have to die? 
  2. Win the tombs is crazy, and then how can they explain a way of Jesus' resurrection?
  3. What thoughts and feelings come through to you?

Transcription:

00:13          You may not be a gigantic fan of history, but I'll tell you today you will be, because today we're going to look at the most provable event in all of ancient history. According to the libraries of the world, the most provable event in all of human history. It's after the crucifixion of Jesus. We'll pick up the action in Mark chapter 15 in verse 44 and scripture says this, "Pilate wondered if he, Jesus, was dead by this time. And summoning the Centurion, he questioned the Centurion as to whether he was already dead. And ascertaining this from the century, he granted the body of Jesus to Joseph. So Joseph bought a linen cloth and took him down, wrapped him in the linen cloth and laid him a tomb which had already been hewn out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, were looking on to see where he was laid."
 
01:12          You know, without the crucifixion, there would have been no resurrection. And without the resurrection there would be no Christian faith. Folks, there are so many factors. You know, nonbelievers, they talk, they doubt they jeer at the resurrection of Jesus. But I'm going to tell you, it happened. First of all, you have a dead Messiah. Two Roman coroners signed his death certificate after he died, and if they were incorrect in their assessment of his death, they would have been crucified for their mistake. Eye witnesses say that a spear was driven into his side and blood and water came out. Any coroner will tell you it's a sign of a man's death. Then he was laid in a borrowed tomb in a private burial yard. He was wrapped in cloth and spices, probably about a hundred pounds of spices according to the Jewish burial from the top of his head to the soles of his feet.
 
02:05          A very large stone estimates that it raid between a one and a half to two tons will rolled against the door of the tomb. There've been estimates that said a stone so big that would take 20 men to move. The seal of Rome was put over the tomb. Two leather strips with a pack with a seal of Rome on the pack, threatening anyone. If you break this seal, you'll be crucified yourself for defying the order of Rome. Then a Roman guard was placed in front of the tomb and the Roman Kaleo, probably a group of 12 to 16 men trained to defeat a piece of ground against attire invading army. The tomb was guarded. Jesus was dead. But something happened on the third day. Something happened that changed the course of history. Jesus was alive. He was the resurrected savior. And so your faith is not in vain.
 
03:01          My questions for you today are this, why did Jesus have to die? And then secondly, why in the world or how can critics try to explain a way, Jesus' death? And to say that he was just asleep in the tombs is crazy, and then how can they explain a way of Jesus' resurrection? And then here's the third question, and this is a greatest question. True love was spoken on the day of the cross. What thoughts and feelings come through to you? And the lifeline is this. He wore the crown of thorns so that you and I someday could wear the crown of life.

"My next door neighbor Gary Smalley, who I just absolutely love, told me a story one time. I think he said it was true, but it sounds a little fishy to me, but it's a story about an ice fishermen and one of the great lakes up near Wisconsin. Lake was frozen solid. And so the guys would go out and they put huts all over the ice and then they drill a hole down in the middle of the ice and actually catch fish and pull them up through the hole."

Family Discussions:

  1. Why did Jesus choose 11 of the 12 men He chose to be his fishermen to be his disciples?
  2. What does fishing for men mean?
  3. Go around and ask each other, one quality that you see in each other that Jesus would identify as the reason he would choose each person to be his fishermen. 

Transcription:

00:14          Today back in the book of Mark. We're still in the first chapter. Two great verses to share with you today. I can't wait to get into the study. We're looking at chapter one, verse 16 through 18 and it talks about Jesus choosing his disciples. And it says this, "as he was going along by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, follow me and I'll make you fishers of men." Verse 18 says, "immediately they left their nets and followed him." My next door neighbor Gary Smalley, who I just absolutely love, told me a story one time. I think he said it was true, but it sounds a little fishy to me, but it's a story about an ice fishermen and one of the great lakes up near Wisconsin. Lake was frozen solid. And so the guys would go out and they put huts all over the ice and then they drill a hole down in the middle of the ice and actually catch fish and pull them up through the hole.
 
01:11          On this one particular day, this one fishermen had a golden retriever. His favorite pet golden retriever in the hut with me. If you can picture the scene on a very cold day. And he gets a nibble on his line and pretty soon the fisherman pulls up this gigantic massive fish. He tries to grab me with his hands. The fish slips away back down under the ice. In the excitement, the retriever dives for the fish. He misses the fish and disappears under the ice. For 60 perilous seconds, the fishermen mourn the loss of his dog who had disappeared under the ice and then just down the ice just a few yards away. He heard the scream of another fisherman in a hut nearby as the golden retriever popped his head up in the ice, the hole in the ice in the other fishermen's hut. Can you imagine what the fisherman thought as he was looking for a fish and he saw a dog popping up in his hut?
 
02:07          Anyway, I don't know about that story Gary, but I loved the eager fishermen. I love to fish. I've got a friend and he is an eager fisherman. He every day he takes his lunch hour to go fishing. But you know, what's really fun for me is to travel to football teams and baseball teams and the NFL and professional baseball and to go to college teams and almost every single locker room that I go into almost every chapel, whether it's college or the pros, there's a fisherman. There's one guy who is just absolutely committed to Christ. There's some of the best players in baseball, some of the best players in football, but they are fisherman. And then we're going to do a chapel and sometimes they'll bring 20 or 30 or 40 guys with them to the chapel because the fishermen are so eager. I do high school Bible study. I just did one last night. And I meet with these guys for years as they go through high school and they're always built around one solid committed Christian Guy and his friends who want to come and see what makes his life so happy.
 
03:14          So the questions today are this, why did Jesus choose 11 of the 12 men He chose to be his fishermen to be his disciples? And second question is a good one. What does fishing for men mean? Think about your environment you're in. And number three says, go around if you're sitting at a table with your family or you're sitting in an office watching this, ask each family member or each guy or woman who's in your study, one quality that you see in each other that Jesus would identify as the reason he would choose each person to be his fishermen. Why would he call that person? So compliment the people around you and tell them what you see in them that makes them somebody that Jesus would choose efficiently. And the thought for the day is this. Be an eager fisherman wherever God takes you today.

"A fine college student athlete came to my office to talk about God. The guy was lost. He was so incredibly lost. He had caused two abortions. He had drank alcohol, like a fish in a pond. In his search for meaning in life, he scuffed the idea of a personal loving God, and he had paid a dear price for his wrongdoings."

Family Discussions:

  1. How can you explain God's amazing tender grace?
  2. How should that grace motivate you?
  3. Why is that grace so hard to comprehend?

Transcription:

00:14          This super scripture today is from Romans 3:23-25. It says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but being justified is a gift by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in his blood through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness because the forbearance of God has passed over the sins previously committed." This is awesome. Hey, you want a gift? You want a free car? You want a brand new car? You want to Porsche? Do you want a Lamborghini Diablo? Do you want a Lexus? Do you want a MasterCard with unlimited spending and no bills to pay ever? You know what? The very heart of scripture, and that's where we find ourselves today is this amazing, overwhelming, unparalleled, unmatchable gift from God to you.
 
01:18          Fall short? In the scripture that means you could never ever get there alone. Justified? In this verse that means your sin and debt is paid totally. Gift? That means without charge. That means it's free. Grace? That simply means undeserved completely. Redemption? That means bought with a price. That means bought with his blood. You know, last week a fine college student athlete came to my office to talk about God. The guy was lost. He was so incredibly lost. He had caused two abortions. He had drank alcohol, like a fish in a pond. In his search for meaning in life, he scuffed the idea of a personal loving God, and he had paid a dear price for his wrongdoings. He was a mess. His first wife was a stripper. She left him for another man. His daily agony was in comprehensible. But as we began to talk, he pitched many unanswerable, stereotypical questions about God. Like how could a good God allow suffering and evil? You know, how could a tribesmen who never had a chance to hear get to heaven?
 
02:31          It was all just a smokescreen from the heart. That was elusively longing for a real relationship with his creator. I've heard the conversation in many ways a thousand times, but as if I had planned it at that moment. Then I began to explain to him from scripture the indescribable love of a good father for his son. My daughter and my precious grandson came up in a tiny camo hat and tiny camo PJs. She placed that tender precious grandson in my arms and she spoke for baby. She said, granddad, I want to go hunting with you. Man, I held that baby in my arms and I was just overcome with a deep sense of a dad's love that I can't express on paper. The college athlete saw the picture of God's redemption unfold before his eyes. You know what? He had no more questions. That night he gave his life to Christ and he has decided to give his life to purity so that others might see the truth of this wonderful passage in scripture.
 
03:37          Here's the questions for today. How can you explain God's amazing tender grace? And how should that grace motivate you? And why is that grace so hard to comprehend? And here's the lifeline for the day. Grace is getting what you don't deserve. Mercy is not getting what you do deserve.
 

"Like everything is good that ever happened, there's cynics. There's critics who deny the fact that it ever happened, but they have not considered the evidence. And I thank my good friend Josh McDowell for his exhaustive research on this subject. But there's four main arguments that the cynics and critics give. The ones who don't want to believe in Christ have you give for their excuse that there was no resurrection."

Family Discussions:

  1. What does the resurrection of Christ, what difference does that make in your life today?
  2. If Jesus is alive inside of you, what kind of life should you and I be living in our homes, in our schools, in our, in our workplace, and especially in relationship with those that are close to us?
  3. What is the resurrection Jesus do inside of me for the people that I'm around?

Transcription:

00:14          This is one incredible line in scripture. This is awesome. This is from the eye witness accounts, the greatest moment in history. Luke 24:46 and it says this, "and he said to them, thus it is written that Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead on the third day." We talked just the other day about what happened to Jesus on the day of his crucifixion and about the resurrection. Well, like everything is good that ever happened, there's cynics. There's critics who deny the fact that it ever happened, but they have not considered the evidence. And I thank my good friend Josh McDowell for his exhaustive research on this subject. But there's four main arguments that the cynics and critics give. The ones who don't want to believe in Christ have you give for their excuse that there was no resurrection.
 
01:10          First of all, the cynics and critics say that Jesus really didn't die. It's called the Swoon theory. That that somehow on the cross, Jesus just sort of went to sleep. That somehow he survived the flogging of Rome. There was a torture designed to take a man within one breath of his own death. He survived the Roman crucifixion, which always meant death. He survived the signature of two Roman coroners, who according to Roman law would sign the certificate of the dead body. And if they were wrong, they would be crucified for their mistake. Somehow he survived the wrapping of the Jewish tradition of the bombing process of that day where they would take linen clothes and a hundred pounds of spices and wrap around the man's head and his body. Somehow he would be able to with his shoulder, revive himself in the tomb and knocked the one and a half to two ton stone away from the opening. Somehow he would have the ability after going through all of that to overcome a guard of 12 to 16 men trained by Rome to defend a piece of ground that gets an entire invading army. And then somehow he would get out of those linens and he would be able to show himself as more of life and appear to over 500 people over a period of 40 days. He is the Lord of life. That's not true. Jesus died and Jesus was resurrected.
 
02:29          The second argument is that the Jews stole the body, and that's probably the funniest argument in the world because if the Jews would have stolen the body, all they would've had to do is take the body of Jesus, put it on a wagon and parade it down Main street in Jerusalem and Christianity would have been done forever. The third argument is the disciples stole the body. The disciples went and moved the stone and beat up the Roman guard somehow and they stole the body and hid it away. But not so because men, especially 11 cowards who ran after crucifixion of Christ, knowing that they would be the next to be crucified, that something happened in those men's lives, that those menwent out and died martyrs' deaths. Men will not die for a lie. They know is a lie. Men will die for lie if they think it's the truth. But when will not die for a lie if they know it's a lie. Those men became some of the bravest man who ever lived on the face of this earth because they saw a resurrected Christ.
 
03:22          And then the fourth argument is preposterous as it may sound, is that the women went to the wrong tomb. That someday somehow on Sunday morning, they forgot where he was buried. Although if they went to the wrong tomb, that meant that the disciples must have gone to the wrong tomb. That meant that the Jews must've gone to the wrong tomb and the tomb was a private burial. Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. Folks, Jesus is alive and again, it is the fact that history that sets Christianity apart from every other faith. You could go to the tomb of any other man who ever lived and especially one who claimed to be God and raised so much attention as Jesus did and you'll find their bones. Jesus is unique. Jesus is indeed Lord and Savior. And Jesus is indeed one who deserves for you and me to give our allegiance and give our lives. And my question for you today is what does the resurrection of Christ, what difference does that make in your life today? And if Jesus is alive inside of you, what kind of life should you and I be living in our homes, in our schools, in our, in our workplace, and especially in relationship with those that are close to us? What is the resurrection Jesus do inside of me for the people that I'm around?
 

" I heard a story years ago that I will never forget the story was of a man who entered the museum. And the museum was famous for all of its fantastic artwork. But when the man came in, his face was downtrodden and sad and the caretaker of the museum has seen this face many, many times because people would refer people to his museum when they were going through incredible difficulties in life. "

Family Discussion:

  1. Who is the object of your worship?
  2. What would your new song be if you were on your knees as close to Jesus as you can get looking up in his face today?

Transcription:

00:13          If you and I could possibly imagine the fascination that John must've been in the day that he saw the vision that the angels of the Lord began to speak to him and tell him that the things that were to come. In this particular passage in Revelation chapter five verses nine and 10, John comes to a moment when he begins to weep because he sees the scroll with the seven seals and scholars believe that the scroll may have been the title deed to the earth. In each of the seven seals is a judgment upon the earth. In Revelation five nine and 10 begins to open up the next chapter of the judgements of God and he says this, "And they sing a new song. Saying worthy are you to take the book and to break its seals. For you were slain and purchased of God with your blood. Men from every tongue and people and tribe and nation, You've made them to be a kingdom of priests to our God and they will reign upon the earth."

 
01:10          John weeps because no one can break the seals. But then Jesus, who has purchased us with his blood, comes and breaks the seals one at a time in the rest of chapter five and on. Tell us about each of the judgments in the seals of God, but as John beholds Jesus, he begins to worship. He worships Jesus as one who is worthy. He worships Jesus as one who was slain. He worships Jesus as one who bought us out. Scripture says he purchased us by his blood. He redeemed us. And this is where John begins to worship because the word for redemption is the Greek word exagorazo. Exagorazo means that we've been bought out the slave market never to be returned to the slave market of sin again. And John begins to praise and worship Jesus and begins to sing a new song. And it makes me think today, what is the object of my praise and worship? What is the object of your praise and of your worship?
 
02:07          I heard a story years ago that I will never forget the story was of a man who entered the museum. And the museum was famous for all of its fantastic artwork. But when the man came in, his face was downtrodden and sad and the caretaker of the museum has seen this face many, many times because people would refer people to his museum when they were going through incredible difficulties in life. And as soon as he saw the man, he pointed to a painting over a wall. And it was a gigantic painting, but the man couldn't see what it was. And the curator, the museum said, move closer. And the man moved closer to the museum. And then the curator said, now lower.
 
02:43          And the man started stooping down and the curator said, move closer. And they may move closer to the painting. And the curator said, now lower. Move closer. Now lower. Move closer. Now lower. Move closer. Now, lower. Pretty soon the man was standing under the painting or actually kneeling under the painting, looking straight up into the painting right over his head and their on his knees as close to the painting as he could get. He could see the face of Christ on a cross crucified with blood down his brow, looking down at him. And a spirit of hope and a spirit of compassion begin to melt into this man's broken heart. And the man became relieved and smiled. You can only see Christ when you're low and when you're on your knees.
 
03:24          And when I think about the judgements that are coming upon this earth, and I think about the one who could open the scroll to begin to describe the judgments will be the one that would redeem you and redeem me. He purchased us by his blood. It makes me move closer and it makes me get lower. It makes me move closer and it makes me get lower. And there you'll find the compassion in the face of Christ. And when you're in that position, you will sing a new song and you will worship him both men and woman. And the questions for the day are this: who is the object of your worship? And the second question is, what would your new song be if you were on your knees as close to Jesus as you can get looking up in his face today? Make it be a day of worship.

"Christ hides himself in these just common old peanut butter jars of our heart."

Family Discussion:

  • Without Jesus, how valuable are you? But with Christ in your heart how valuable is that peanut butter jar of your heart?
  • How does that give you today the gift of humility that God would think enough of your heart, the old peanut butter jar to put his spirit in you?

Transcription:

00:04 One of my greatest heroes is Dr. Howard Hendricks, and Dr. Hendricks taught me something one time, that man, I'll think about it every time I read this passage in Second Corinthians chapter 4 verses 7-10. It says this, "but we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed, but not despairing, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the dying of Jesus so that the life of Jesus might be manifested in our body."

00:54 You know, I've got to break the routine today and just lead a major cheer in your home. I like this book we're studying together. This second Corinthians letter is just packed with God's greatest treasures. And, and you know what, speaking of treasures man, there is not, nor will there ever be, a treasure as absolutely invaluable as the mega karat diamond jewel of the Holy Spirit of Christ that hides himself in the treasure chest of your heart as a true believer and a follower of Jesus Christ. Doctor Hendrick's calls it peanut butter jars. Christ hides himself in these just common old peanut butter jars of our heart. You know, when I was a kid, my dad worked awfully hard to come home with enough money to put beans and burgers and peanut butter & jelly on the table. You know, we didn't starve, but we didn't have a whole lot of leftovers to feed our little dog Pixie, either. My mom was a champion at stretching the dollar and she'd save everything of potential value. Peanut butter jars and jelly jars, man, we drank out of those things. Her mom had taught her to save buttons, rare coins, toy marbles, trading stamps, and she'd saved stuff like that in peanut butter jars.

02:18 You know what, I remember one Friday night, we even put a handful of fireflies of lightening bugs in a peanut butter jar to make a natural flashlight for a game we were playing in the darkness of our room. Treasures, treasures in peanut butter jars. It seems ironic, doesn't it? But you know what? When I think of God putting his greatest treasure in the heart of a man who's failed as many times as I have, I feel just like a peanut butter jar - used, washed, spotless, and somehow filled with a treasure, so I can share some of the rare and priceless jewels with folks who come my way. And so it is with you. You may feel like a peanut butter jar yourself, but God thinks enough of you to fill your heart with his greatest treasure. Isn't that great?

03:08 Here's the question for today. How valuable is a used peanut butter jar by itself? And without Jesus, how valuable are you? But with Christ in your heart, with the Holy Spirit of God, living in your heart, now, how valuable is that peanut butter jar of your heart? And how does that give you today the gift of humility that God would think enough of your heart, the old peanut butter jar to put his spirit in you? How humble does that make you feel today? The lifeline for today to this: When I'm empty, if I would fall, I would break. But, when I'm filled with God's treasures, if I break and fall, it's the strongest treasure chest on earth.

What's the crown that you're working for in your life?

Family Discussion:

  • What are you training for?
  • What's your spiritual workout schedule? Do you have one? If you do, describe it.

Transcription:

00:04 If you wanted to be a truly great golfer, a great golfer, or if you ever wanted to be great at anything, I mean among the world's best, well, check this one out today and maybe you can. First Corinthians Chapter 9 Verse 24-27, it says this. "Don't you know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in a game goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly. I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

01:09 The story goes of a man who wanted to be a great golfer and the story goes, I'm not sure it's true, but he went to Jack Nicholas and he said, "Mister Nicholas, I love the way you play the game. How do you play it so well? How do you win the greatest prize of all?" And he said, it's easy. Wake up with the sun. Go out and hit golf balls until your hands bleed, till you've got blisters on your hands and then go eat a little breakfast, then go back out on the range and hit till your hands are bleeding some more. And then eat lunch and then go hit golf balls until you can't hold the club any longer. Then go eat supper. And then after supper go hit golf balls until it's dark. And he said, do that for two years and you'll be among the greatest of golf.

01:49 You know what? That is the same kind of tenacity Paul was expressing when he used the phrase that I might win five times. He used that phrase in a span of four verses. What was he trying to win? What was he trying to win? What was he trying to win? You know what? I think he was trying to win souls. Paul placed evangelism over every aspect of life, he even set aside his own rights when it meant the salvation of another human being. I remember one time when much son Cooper was in ninth grade and every night that I was home, I would tuck him in bed, unless I did my other kids, and we'd memorize a Bible verse together and we'd pray together. And I looked at Cooper who was a young sprouting high school quarterback, the end of the big halls of the high school and I said "Cooper, I've got a vision for you, man. When you graduate from high school, one of your buddies is going to come up to you and he's gonna say Cooper because of you, I became a Christian." Well, he didn't want to hear that goal at night. He had other goals in mind, like all-state in football. His junior year in high school, I walked by his room and I saw something that I'll never forget. Cooper was down there leading his best friend, Jared to Christ. And you know what? I went upstairs and I waited and pretty soon here came this kid of mine up the stairs and he looked like Moses just come down the mountain of the 10 Commandments. His face was glistening. He said, "Dad." He said, "you'll never believe what just happened in my room tonight." And I said, "Cooper, what happened down there?"

03:16 He said, "dad, I just led Jared to Christ." And I said, "Cooper, that's awesome." He said, "dad, you remember a couple of years ago, you had that vision for me, you know, about leading one of my friends to Christ?" And I said, "yeah." He said, "that's the last thing I wanted to hear in ninth grade." But he said, "dad, that's all I want to do with the rest of my life." That kid just finished his Masters Degree in theology, up in Chicago and I said Cooper, I said, "man, is that more important than the state championship?" He said, yes! And I said "Is that more important than all-state and football?" And he said, "dad, it's the most important thing in the whole wide world." And that's why I believe he just got his degree in theology and he wants to live his whole life just for that cause. I believe that's what Paul's saying here when he says, "run for the prize, run in such a way that you may win."

04:03 I don't think he's talking about shooting holes in one. I think he's talking about taking people to heaven so that when you die, you'll see those people for eternity. So here's the questions today. What are you training for? And then secondly, what's your spiritual workout schedule? Do you have one? If you do, describe it. If you don't, go get one, and in the end you're going to have prize on this earth better than the prizes you could possibly get at some award ceremony or in some trophy case. And the lifeline today is this, what do you diligently work towards? What's your goal? What's the crown that you're working for in your life?

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